This barbecue pimento cheese may just be the best thing that could happen to you today. One taste of this slightly spicy take on a classic Southern spread with a cult following and you’ll understand.
How do I serve barbecue pimento cheese?
We’ve served this with all manner of things besides crackers and celery and, for the record, we haven’t experienced anything that we didn’t like. With crackers or flatbread. In grilled cheese. On burgers. With potato chips and pretzels. Use your imagination.
Barbecue Pimento Cheese
- Quick Glance
- 15 M
- 2 H, 15 M
- Serves 24 | Makes 3 cups
In a small bowl, stir all the spices together.
Grate the cheeses into a large bowl and toss to combine. Add the scallions, if using, and toss again. (We found clean, dry hands to be a perfectly good tool for doing this.)
Dump the mayonnaise into a small bowl and stir in 1 1/2 to 2 tablespoons spice mixture until completely incorporated.
Stir the spiced mayo into the cheese mixture until everything is well blended. You want the cheese to be completely coated with the spiced mayo. Stir in the pimentos. Cover and refrigerate the pimento cheese for at least 2 hours and up to several days to let the flavors meld. (The longer you let the flavors meld, the more mellow the spices and the more pervasive the smokiness. You may want to let the barbecue pimento cheese at room temperature for 30 minutes or so to take the edge off the chill before serving.)
For serving inspiration, well, just use it as a dip or spread for anything. Originally published January 27, 2015.
Recipe Testers' Reviews
Being from the North, I never experienced pimento cheese on an appetizer tray or even thought about it. However, after moving South, I see it everywhere. Not having a point of reference, my tasters thought this barbecue pimento cheese recipe was quite good and addicting. I noticed some pimento cheese recipes contain cream cheese, which would make it creamier, although we didn't miss it in this recipe.
The barbecue pimento cheese does need to sit and "mature" for several hours, as there was a difference in taste between when I first made it and several days later. I thought the barbecue flavor was a little overwhelming when I first made the recipe, but it has since mellowed. It took about 15 minutes to mix together the recipe. I put it at the back of the fridge so people would really have to work at moving things to get to it. Now we can enjoy it longer—or make it again!
My guests were very happy with this barbecue pimento cheese. I served it as an hors d'oeuvre with a simple assortment of crackers. I couldn't find orange smoked Cheddar cheese but the applewood smoked Cheddar I used was perfect, and I'm sure it provided the same degree of smokiness as a naturally smoked orange Cheddar.
I halved the recipe, and the yield was about 1 1/2 cups. I like the fact that the recipe uses scallions instead of onion since the onion in my other pimento cheese recipes tends to make the dish a bit watery. The recipe takes about 15 minutes to prepare and then at least 2 hours in the fridge for the flavors to come together nicely. There will be a bit of the spice blend left over. Since the ingredients were so similar, I simply added it to my container of homemade spice blend that I use on barbecued ribs and chicken. I couldn't tell how long the cheese would keep in the refrigerator since my tasters finished the entire dish in one sitting!